Playing with a thermal imaging camera

I recently borrowed a thermal imaging camera from work. So much fun!

Below you see a cold sky, warmer trees and two really warm people walking through the park.


One thing that really surprised me was to see reflections of the warmer trees on the little lake below. Although thinking about it, I am not sure why I should be surprised: If it was a “normal” image and not a thermal image, reflections wouldn’t surprise me at all. So why should thermal radiation behave any different?


But it messed up my plans quite a bit. I had hoped to maybe be able to see heat being transferred when waves crashed against the sea wall. But a) there were no waves, and b) what did the waves do? Correct: reflect the sky.  Just like they always do…

So this is what we see:


And this is what the thermal imaging camera sees:


On a different day you clearly see the warmer clouds:

As well as the apparently much warmer ships.

And looking down from the sea wall:


And what the camera sees:


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